When chemicals that are designed to kill are introduced into delicately balanced ecosystems, they can set damage in motion that reverberates through the food web for years.
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- Honeybee populations are plummeting nationwide.
- Male frogs exposed to atrazine become females.
- Pesticides are implicated in dramatic bat die-offs.
Pesticides wreak havoc on the environment, threatening biodiversity and weakening the natural systems upon which human survival depends. PAN works hard to promote agricultural systems that protect and strengthen, rather than contaminate, our natural ecosystems.
Pesticide runoff remains largely unregulated, and government agencies have shown little initiative in protecting complex aquatic ecosystems. Fortunately, when tainted runoff threatens a species already listed as endangered, the government can be forced to act. In the pacific northwest, creeks that are home to endangered salmon now require substantial buffer zones from toxic pesticides.
Pesticides can contaminate soil, water, turf, and other vegetation. In addition to killing insects or weeds, pesticides can be toxic to a host of other organisms including birds, fish, beneficial insects, and non-target plants.
Pesticide exposure can be linked to cancer, endocrine disruption, reproductive effects, neurotoxicity, kidney and liver damage, birth defects, and developmental changes in a wide range of species. Exposure to pesticides can also alter an organism’s behavior, impacting its ability to survive.